A SIGNIFICANT archaeological find of national importance has been unearthed in Norton.

Construction work at the former Brooklyn House site in Langton Road to expand Norton Primary School has discovered a wealth of archaeological treasure, including the original Roman road, human remains, including baby burials, a strange burial of two geese heads facing each other with a pair of wings placed over them and large amounts of pottery.

John Buglass, the archaeologist in charge, said: “The results of this excavation have recorded previously unknown, nationally important archaeological remains, the analysis of which will significantly expand our knowledge of Norton and its role and importance in Roman Yorkshire.’’

He said although the remains of the Roman fort and town of Derventio were mainly in and around Malton, it appeared a significant settlement developed on the south side between the fort and the River Derwent crossing and continued into what is now the northern part of Norton.

The settlement could now be shown to have extended much further than had previously been known.

“The archaeological investigations have uncovered the remains of not only a Roman field system but, more significantly, the remains of between six and 10 stone buildings, all orientated gable end on to the adjacent Roman road which would have led up to the all-important crossing on the River Derwent. While the bulk of the pottery originated from local kilns, there are many examples from other parts of the Roman Empire. This pottery shows both the range of trade routes and products being imported to Norton as well as the wealth and status of the towns’ inhabitants. In addition to the pottery, large amounts of animal bone from the meat which fed the town have also been recovered along with personal items including copper and jet jewellery, tools and even fragments from Roman central heating.

Peter Rowe, the county council’s principal archaeologist, added: “The archaeological works are just about complete and the post-excavation assessment has begun.

“This process could take up to two years given the vast quantity of material. No doubt the work will continue to reveal the secrets of the site but it is certainly safe to say that this is a significant area of national importance.’’